Anne, with more on writing:
I came of age in a world that snubbed popular writers. I didn't. I wanted to know why people loved them. I have read Jackie Susann's novels twice. I marvel at her raw energy, her driving storytelling, and the amazing details she includes with the abandon of a primitive painter.
I'll learn from anybody--from the poems of William Butler Yeats, or the novels of Sidney Sheldon, from Dostoevsky or a television commercial for dishwashing powder that tells a whole family story in sixty seconds. I have loved analyzing television soap operas for what drives their plots; I cam away from Star Wars movies wanting to create a deep and intricate cosmology of evil as rooted in the human heart as opposed to an abstract force outside of us.
We can learn from everything and anything, as I see it.